GOSHEN, Ind. – The Goshen College men's soccer team scored twice in the first 20 minutes of the match and easily held on for a 4-2 win over the University of Saint Francis in its 2012 Crossroads League home opener Wednesday night.
"This is a good result for us at home and to be able to score four goals also was a plus, but I thought we can still be better," head coach Tavi Mounsithiraj stated. "Right off the opening whistle, I thought we began to play good soccer and eventually it paid off with a couple goals."
The Maple Leafs got on the board just 6:39 in after the Cougars were called for a hand ball in the box. Junior Josh Van Allen stepped to the penalty spot and pounded in his fourth goal of the season, all coming via penalty kicks.
Twelve minutes later, sophomore Andres Garcia struck for his first career tally. He took down an attempted clearance from the Saint Francis defense, hitting a 20-yard ball through a crowd and into the lower left corner for a 2-0 lead.
Saint Francis' Jason Walcutt - the Crossroads leading scorer - pulled the visitors back within one four minutes later with an outstanding 35-yard free kick and the score remained 2-1 in Goshen's favor into halftime.
The Leafs quickly added on just 1:20 into the second period when senior Daniel Martin beat a pair of Cougar defenders and scored his team-leading sixth of the season from 10 yards out. They then went up 4-1 in the 73rd when Caleb Longenecker blasted in from 20 yards.
"With a 2-1 lead, I told the boys that we need to step up our pressure a little bit," Mounsithiraj added. "The hard work paid off in a couple more goals. I thought the game was over, but we gave up a PK and the game was on again. Eventually, we were able to play good enough defense to hold them off."
Walcutt added his 12th of the year for Saint Francis in the 77th on a penalty kick. The visitors actually out shot Goshen 15-13 overall, but 12 of the Leafs' attempts were on frame to just seven for the Cougars.
"We still have a lot of work to do if we are going to be one of the good teams in this league," Mounsithiraj said in closing. "We have 48 hours to get ready for Grace, a team that we have not beaten in three years. Again, our passing needs to be better and our boys need to step up."
Senior Brian O'Leary made five saves for Goshen (6-3-1, 1-0-1 CL) who will travel to Grace College on Saturday.